EDMONTON, AB – Opera NUOVA, creator of Canada’s largest opera festival, has chosen Carmen by Georges Bizet and Cendrillon by Jules Massenet to be the 2014 Vocal Arts Festival’s mainstage productions. These French operas will be produced in repertory alongside Leonard Bernstein’s Candide and twelve other concerts & engagement events from May 17 – June 29, 2014 at various venues around Edmonton, including Victoria School of the Arts.
The Vocal Arts Festival runs in conjunction with NUOVA’s renowned Summer Operatic Intensive Programs. Over 60 emerging and professional singers, pianists, conductors, directors, stage managers and carpenters come to Edmonton to share the experience of studying the operatic craft and to realize through performance, the passion of the operatic genre.
An exclusive and talented faculty joins Artistic & Managing Director Kim Mattice Wanat in Edmonton to teach these young artists while guiding them through role preparation and professional development. Carmen will be directed by New Yorker Carol Castel and conducted by COC’s Assistant Conductor Jordan de Souza. Cendrillon will be directed by NUOVA’s Kim Mattice Wanat and conducted by the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director Rosemary Thomson. Local director Brian Deedrick directs the production of Candide. NUOVA’s 2014 faculty also includes esteemed operatic professionals Marianne Bindig, Benjamin Butterfield, Nico Castel, Kathleen Lohrenz Gable, Laura Loewen, Michael McMahon, Leanne Regehr, Kinza Tyrrell, and Order of Canada recipients John Fanning and Judith Forst.
Opera lovers will be familiar with Carmen’s dramatic love story between the spellbinding gypsy Carmen and the moody corporal Don José. Ending in traditional tragic style, this glorious opera is one of the world’s most performed. As is always the case, the young artists performing in this production will renew the work with youthful energy and sensual magnetism. Cendrillon will draw in first-time opera attendees & families. This fairy-tale in four acts is an ‘opera comique’ and features all the characters known in the traditional story including a full chorus of spirits, servants & courtiers. The adventures of Candide, based on a work by Voltaire, tell of a young man who is banished for loving out of his ranks. After evading war and persecution, he travels the world finding and losing his first love, Cunégonde. Underlying all his choices, a simple life of hard work, love and friendship is his final destination. Candide’s outlook is always optimistic in a world of pessimism.
After a nationwide 3-week audition tour from Halifax, NS to Victoria, BC, Kim Mattice Wanat selected the programming for the Vocal Arts Festival based on the talent and availability of the voices she heard. Choosing the “horse before the cart” guarantees that Opera NUOVA provides singing opportunities that best serve these emerging artists attending the Summer Operatic Intensive Programs. Unlike other festivals or young artist programs that determine their productions months in advance, Kim Mattice Wanat insists there is a disadvantage to choosing the work before the artists. Casting for each production has yet to be announced. Each production will be double-cast and each cast will perform twice.
Opera NUOVA propels into its 2013/14 season from a very successful fifteenth year. After incurring a small deficit in 2012, NUOVA bounced back with an increase in festival ticket sales to recover this downfall and surpass it. 2013 Vocal Arts Festival ticket sales exceeded the projected budget by 53%.
On August 31, 2013, NUOVA closed its fiscal year with an operating surplus of $6,000. This financial success has allowed Opera NUOVA to take the steps towards a sustainable financial future. During the 15th anniversary season last May & June, a combination of events and fundraising, including the Vocal Gems Night of Celebration at the Muttart Conservatory and a Scholarship Drive dedicated performance of Fiddler on the Roof, garnered $15,000 in private donations towards a Scholarship fund. The Opera NUOVA Emerging Artist Endowment Fund has been opened with the Edmonton Community Foundation. This fund will build up resources to fund scholarships, bursaries and other student-oriented expenses. Opera NUOVA’s board has agreed to allocate $10,000 of the company’s current resources to bolster the $15,000 of private donations to initiate the Endowment Fund. NUOVA supporters wishing to make contributions to the Emerging Artists Endowment Fund may do so by contacting Noel Xavier at the Edmonton Community Foundation at 780.426.0015 or Opera NUOVA at 780.487.4844.
Opera NUOVA is dedicated to the advanced training and promotion of operatic vocalists and collaborative pianists across Canada, offering a bridge between the academic and professional world. NUOVA encourages the development of new operatic audiences by presenting rare and classic works in intimate and affordable productions. The majority of the 2014 Vocal Arts Festival’s concert & engagement events will take place on the University of Alberta campus, while the three mainstage productions will be performed at the Victoria School of the Arts, at 10210 108 Ave NW in Edmonton in the last two weeks of June 2014. Performance dates yet to be confirmed.
Opera NUOVA’s 2013 Annual General Meeting takes place at the Edmonton Petroleum Club on November 28, 2013 at 7:00 PM. Speakers and performers include alumni Kallie Clayton, Leanne Regehr and Nola Shantz. The AGM is open to the public but only invitees are eligible to vote. Supporters & stakeholders may contact Rebecca Craster through our Contact Form or at 780.988.9065 to attend.
Tickets & festival passes for all the 2014 Vocal Arts Festival events will go on sale March 1, 2014. More information is available by calling the Box Office at 780.487.4844 or using our Contact Form.
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